Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 31, 2015

  • Anna Marie Oakes-Joudy is the latest winner of the August Under the Bar prize.
  • Exercise, Government-Style: Rip highlights the deficits in the National Institute on Aging's recommendations for endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
SS Coaches' Updates & Blogs

Under the Bar

woodmere squat Dr.Kellner squats on intensity day at Woodmere Strength & Conditioning. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
deadlift strength training 73-year-old Michael is getting stronger and moving better than he ever has at Gardiner Athletics. [photo courtesy of Peter Nathan]
strength training coaching cue Jonathon Sullivan cues the chest position in the pull. [photo courtesy of Chris Kurisko]

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Best of the Week

“Eight” Fundamental Exercises

At some point you were interviewed by Mark Barroso from Muscle & Fitness. He asked how many exercises the intermediate-level trainee should be basing their workouts from. You responded, "People trying to be strong need to use eight exercises their entire career...". Well, I think all of us that have read any edition of Starting Strength can assume that 5 of those lifts will probably consist of the Squat, Overhead Press, Bench Press, Deadlift, and Power Clean. What are the other three lifts!? Rows? Triceps Extensions? DIPS!!!!!? This mystery must be solved.

Mark Rippetoe

Squat, press, deadlift, bench press, power clean, power snatch, chins, haltings/rack pulls.


I know you're not a fan of rows Rip, but isn't horizontal pulling a fairly central function of the arms, shoulders and back? I'd wager a significant portion of the people here regularly does some row, maybe not barbell row though.

Both the deadlift and the clean don't do much for the arms directly and only train certain back muscles isometrically, so then you really only have chins left as a arm pulling movement. I mean you do pushing movements in 2 planes, why is it any different for pulling? For both pulling and pushing, there are both similarities and differences in which muscles gets used in the horizontal and vertical version. From a common sense perspective, only chins leave a hole then, right? Particularly for the rear delts I'd say you don't get much work without some sort of horizontal pulling movement.

Mark Rippetoe

How is this not covered by deadlifts, cleans, and chins? Isn't it interesting that both pushing and pulling are the result of precisely the same thing: muscle contraction?

Best of the Forum


So as I sit here washing down my lunch of 6 eggs with a liter of milk the thought occurs to me: I may be eating myself to an early grave. Is the "caloric deficit" group correct that if you eat less you live longer? I'm certainly gaining weight, and the 60/40 lean body mass (LBM) to fat ratio seems about right, but I wonder about the long term consequences.

So finally my question: these powerlifters and weightlifters in the stories on this board - are these people that made it to their 80s and 90s? Maybe it is too early to tell yet. But, anecdotally, the legendary eaters like Phil we-won't-even-mention-the-contest-to-him Grippaldi, do they die young?

Mark Rippetoe

If you are more concerned about being 90 than being strong, this is the wrong board to post on.


Who wants to be 90 with femur stress fractures, sarcopenia, and thoracic kyphosis? Do you know that many old people break their hips from walking and fall rather than fall and break their hips? If Oldster has a stroke and loses the use of one side of his body he will still be more mobile than half the people his age in the country. Grip strength is found in medical studies to be a useful predictor of longevity in the elderly. Go squat, and eat your yolks.

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